About Us

History of the Institute



The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism opened in November 2006, cementing more than twenty successful years of wide-ranging engagement with journalists and media issues at Oxford University.

Neville Maxwell, a former foreign correspondent of The Times, established the Reuters Foundation Fellowship Programme in 1983. What started as an accompaniment to Oxford’s more traditional research into international development, rapidly broadened in scope as the Fellowship scheme expanded through the mid-late 1980s.

In 1990, a dedicated journalists’ fellowship was established. The trickle begun by Maxwell’s two visiting fellows had become a flood, and two years later the Reuters Fellows began a long-lasting residency at Green College. To date, there have been more than four hundred Reuters Foundation Fellows.

On the Fellowships’ tenth anniversary, Godfrey Hodgson – also a former foreign correspondent - succeeded Maxwell, and in 2001 Hodgson was in turn replaced by Paddy Coulter, previously Director of the International Broadcasting Trust. By now, the Reuters Foundation Fellowship consisted of a diverse mix of high-profile lectures and seminars, uniquely tailored to the needs of practicing journalists.

The final stage of the Institute’s development was announced at the Oxford Media Convention in January 2006. The award of £1.75m funding from the Reuters Foundation enabling the establishment of a dedicated research centre to be based at 13, Norham Gardens, Oxford. Its task: providing an independent forum for exchanges between practitioners and analysts of journalism and supporting high quality research, analysis and comment into the workings of the international media.

Dr Sarmila Bose was appointed Director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism in September 2006, Paddy Coulter became Director of Studies and John Lloyd the Director of Journalism.

In May 2008, Dr Bose gave up her role as Director of the Institute and was appointed to the post of Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Relations.

In September 2008, Dr David Levy was named as the new Director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. In addition to his role as Director of the RISJ, Dr Levy is a consultant working in the areas of media policy and strategy and public service reform, and is an Associate Fellow of the Saïd Business School.